Managing obsolescence is a challenge in almost every business sector. This is especially true in the tobacco industry where the four global leaders, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco, and Philip Morris International employ a wide range of manufacturing equipment in the primary and secondary production of their tobacco products.
This is where CMCA(UK) comes in, as experts in the field of Obsolescence Management, we were contracted by the four companies to help overcome many of the major obsolescence hurdles. Darren Topley, CMCA(UK)’s Obsolescence Strategy Advisor, takes up the story.
“The obsolescence burden in supporting expensive capital equipment was of increasing concern for all four companies given that mitigation costs were increasing and, conversely, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) support periods were falling, leading to significant Through Life Cost problems” reports Darren.
“The situation was deemed to be unsustainable and a new approach was therefore required to establish a robust and repeatable Obsolescence Management framework across the industry complete with holistic processes and guidelines by which the Obsolescence Management performance of the Tobacco Manufacturers, OEMs and the Supply Chain could be benchmarked. With production sites and engineering staff based in numerous global locations, it was imperative that the Obsolescence Management framework contained sufficient detail and guidance to allow the Tobacco Manufacturers to work independently of each other whilst presenting a common framework that would encourage all parties to proactively manage the obsolescence challenge, ultimately leading to mutually beneficial outcomes.
The clients were impressed with the various aspects of CMCA(UK)’s Assured Total Obsolescence Management (ATOM) approach and our ability to articulate what the eventual solution would look like at all levels. Following contract award, we worked closely with all four companies to better understand their overarching objectives and constraints, and to establish clear boundaries in which the Obsolescence Management framework would be required to operate. Through a series of interactive workshops and offline document development, a set of processes and expectations were defined for implementation across the Tobacco Manufacturers, OEMs and the extended Supply Chain. In addition, guidelines and templates were produced to assist all stakeholders in applying the framework in a consistent and measurable manner. It’s been a challenging project but we’re delighted to announce that the Tobacco Industry Obsolescence Management Best Practice and Guidelines were endorsed by all parties on 17th September 2014.
There were numerous tangible benefits to the Tobacco Manufacturers as a result of their decision to contract CMCA(UK) to develop an industry-wide Obsolescence Management framework. Importantly, our Obsolescence Management services are agile, responsive, effective, and competitively priced, thus the Tobacco Manufacturers benefit from a first class Obsolescence Management service at a relatively low cost of acquisition. Furthermore, the Tobacco Manufacturers can expect to recuperate their initial outlay costs within the first 6 months of employing the Obsolescence Management Standard. Secondly, the Tobacco Industry benefitted from regular workshops during which their Obsolescence Management aims and objectives were thoroughly explored and recommendations were presented by CMCA(UK) on the most effective methods to employ. This two way approach to developing the Obsolescence Management solution ensured that all stakeholders played an active role in the decision making process and, of equal importance, that decisions were made in a timely manner. Additionally, CMCA(UK)’s experience and professional approach to facilitating workshops provided the clients with the confidence that a successful outcome would be achieved.”
For further details on ATOM or guidance on how to approach your obsolescence challenge contact Darren Topley.